Max Verstappen sheds light on the ongoing efforts by the Red Bull Racing Team to understand their disappointing performance at the Singapore Grand Prix in September. Despite their ongoing analysis, Verstappen expresses his frustration, as the team will not have the opportunity to demonstrate their recovery until the race returns to the calendar in 2024.
At the time of their Singapore struggles, Red Bull Racing was the reigning constructor champion, having dominated the season with victories in every race leading up to that point. However, both Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez found themselves grappling with the car’s balance, resulting in their elimination during Q2 before the Grand Prix. Ultimately, they had to fight their way back through the field to secure fifth and eighth place finishes, respectively. What made the situation even more perplexing was Red Bull’s outstanding performance at Suzuka shortly thereafter.
Reflecting on the team’s findings from Singapore, Verstappen commented, “I think we have a lot of ideas, but we can’t really show that until next year. That is a little bit annoying but in another way, it gives us a bit of time to fully understand everything and also work on trying to improve the car for these kinds of tracks.”
While Carlos Sainz and Ferrari managed to break Red Bull’s 100% winning record in Singapore, the team quickly shifted their focus to new challenges. In Japan, the Milton Keynes-based team secured the Constructors’ Championship title, while their star driver, Max Verstappen, stands on the brink of individual glory.
With an impressive 177-point lead over his teammate Checo, Verstappen has a historic opportunity to become the first-ever driver to clinch the World Championship on a Saturday, during the sprint race at the Lusail International Circuit. All he needs is three points from that race, equivalent to a sixth-place finish, provided his teammate and closest title rival secures victory. Alternatively, he can seal his third successive championship triumph during the Grand Prix on Sunday.
Despite the possibility of this historic achievement, Verstappen remains remarkably composed. He remarked, “No emotion. If it happens on Saturday, Sunday, or the week after, I know that it’s coming. But it’s not something that I’m thinking about too much. Maybe it’s a good thing? A good night out. Might be a bit slower on the reaction time for the lights. But for me, I don’t really think about it. We’re just experiencing a really amazing year as a team. Also, I don’t care where I win it.”
As Red Bull Racing navigates the complexities of car balance and performance, Max Verstappen’s focused and pragmatic approach could see him make history in the world of Formula 1, adding yet another chapter to his impressive career.